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Global Warming: Conflicting Opinions, Essay Example

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Essay

Global warming has been a point of contention between political leaders, environmental activists and citizens concerned with the sustainability of Earth since there has been a scientifically documented rise of Earth’s average surface temperature.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency “The global temperature record shows an average warming of about 1.3°F (0.74ºC) over the past century. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), seven of the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 2001. Within the past 30 years, the rate of warming across the globe has been approximately three times greater than the rate over the last 100 years”(USEPA 2011).  The contention revolves around why the Earth is warming and whether or not it is the natural process of nature or if it is directly caused by human actions used as a catalyst for warming.

Global warming can be exacerbated by the increase of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.  Methane gases released into the atmosphere act just as a greenhouse does in the fact that light energy can enter into the atmosphere but cannot escape caused the collected light energy to be transferred into heat energy while remaining on Earth.  Methane can be produced naturally throughout the Arctic tundra and wetlands across the globe.  The Earth also goes through a cyclical climatic change due external natural forces moving the climate from cold to warm.  The Earth does not change its temperature based solely on the fact that when it experiences a cold cycle it needs to reverse the trend and experience a warm cycle.

The change is based on external forces moving the climates temperature reactionary to the ever changing catalysts naturally occurring within Earth’s biosphere.  The cyclical nature of climate change does lead to the hypothesis that Earth’s temperature variables are always in motion and that when certain aspects, such as greenhouse gases, are increased or decreased the climate is impacted.

Global warming is known to be a result of the variable inputs that influence the climate.  A large factor that is thought to have a major impact on the rise in average surface temperature is that of human interaction with the environment.  As with natural causes greenhouse gases have a tremendous impact on the amount of heat energy that is retained in the Earth’s atmosphere.  Since the industrial revolution, concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, three of the most notable greenhouse gases, have increased significantly This has been proven through scientific studies performed on trapped air bubbles in ice core samples taken in Antarctica which yielded results of a 27% increase in carbon dioxide and an astounding 130% increase in methane that what was present 600,000 to 650,000 years ago (Archer 2011).

The increases of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which have been caused by humans are notably related to the use of fossil fuels for energy production.  To transfer energy from their stored state in fossil fuels into usable energy a combustion process must be used.  Through the combustion process energy is produced and emissions from the chemical reaction are emitted.  Approximately 70% of the greenhouse gases currently produced is the responsibility of the fossil fuels burned and used for human consumption.  With the increase of greenhouse gases the more light energy is stored on Earth which leads to the increase of average temperatures experienced at this current point in time.

Another area which facilitates global warming caused by human interaction is the deforestation of the natural governor of the greenhouse gases.  Not only are humans producing exponentially more greenhouse gases through industrialization, the natural reciprocal tool for transferring greenhouse gases back into oxygen has been decimated by human expansion, resource utilization and resource allocation of the land, wood and repurposing.  In other words, as the greenhouse gases are constantly increasing, humans are also taking away the only method to provide equilibrium to bring the gases back into a manageable state as to not impact the warming of the surface of the earth.

Global warming is influence heavily by the impact of human interaction.  Earth is warming due to human’s creating their own habitat as opposed to living within the habitat provided to them.  Through resource usage and transferring energy from one form to another the byproducts of these processes create an environment that cannot be self-regulated by the natural forces of the Earth.  Human’s manipulation of the naturally occurring heat retention and variable checks and balances have influences the Earth’s systemic climate regulatory system in such a way that maintaining a hospitable environment is not guaranteed.  Earth’s natural climate stasis cannot react with the necessary speed and breadth necessary to respond to the unnatural impacts of human intervention.

Through scientific research and reviewing prior studies, a reasonable conclusion would be that the extraneous actions made by humans including their usage of resources and the manipulation of the resources to govern the climate would lead to a change in the overall climate of the Earth.  Earth is a fragile environment that requires a near perfect combination of a multitude of factors to enable life to prosper.  Global warming may have multiple factors in the rise in temperature such as cyclical changes and naturally occurring greenhouse gas emission but the human impact supersedes these natural occurring variables.

 

References

Archer, D. (2011). Global warming: understanding the forecast. (2 ed., p. 207). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.

Kump, L. (2008). Dire predictions: understanding global warming. (p. 2008). New York, NY: DK Publishing

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2011). Climate change. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/fq/science.html

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